Malak's Heart Surgery

the Gaza Strip

Malak on Her Way Home!

Posted on Mon, 09/28/2009 - 06:48 by Justin_Strong
Malak's mother was anticipating a good echocardiogram on Tuesday morning so they could leave for home. Not only did she recieve good news from the echo, there was also good news on the scales: little Malak weighed in at 5.5 kilograms!

Shortly thereafter she was removed from the feeding tube, and her IV port was removed from her arm as well. Malak was less than thrilled with these changes because of the discomfort they caused, but her mother was full of joy that they could finally head home. Malak was tired and fussy because of our late departure to the border. Neither a balloon nor a bottle could soothe her, and she was not interested in the scenery as we drove. She was fighting to stay awake, and the car seat was a pain to her rather than a comfort. This usually sweet little one was all tears, but her mother remained calm, happy, and thankful for the entire journey.

Malak's mother was very excited they were on their way home! Once at the border, they were cleared to cross into the terminal very quickly, and an attendant there helped Malak's mother with her cartload of baggage on the way in. Thank you for your prayers and financial support which allowed God to touch this precious little girl with a new heart, and show her entire family a new perspective on His mighty love.

Malak Stands Health

Posted on Mon, 09/21/2009 - 07:48 by Justin_Strong
Malak was doing well today when we visited her at the Wolfson Medical Center. She seems to have gained more weight, and now coupled with her healthy heart she has become much stronger. When Malak was in her mother's lap, she stood Malak up, and to my surprise Malak was standing on her own two feet! (With a little balancing help of course.) This would have been impossible before the surgery. I was told that there was water discovered around Malak's heart, which could delay her release that was scheduled for as early as the end of this week. Please pray for the dissipation of this water, and the continued growth and healing for Malak.

Out of the ICU So Soon

Posted on Fri, 09/18/2009 - 07:48 by Donna_Petrel
Today's visit to the ICU brought a surprise: Malak had been moved to the surgical ward! This is outstanding progress considering that she is only on her second day post-surgery.

Malak was resting contently in the ward when I arrived, looking like an angel with her thankful mother by her side. Shortly afterwards she woke up and began to cry, and her young mother picked her up to soothe her as only a mother can do.

A few minutes later we noticed that the IV port in her arm was bleeding, so the nurse quickly came to remove it, which helped Malak settle down and go back to sleep.

We are thanking God for Malak's wonderful progress, and ask for prayer that it might continue so she and her mother can return home to their family in Gaza soon.

Breathing On Her Own

Posted on Thu, 09/17/2009 - 07:48 by Donna_Petrel

 Little Malak was doing well today when I saw her in the ICU. She is already extubated from mechanical ventilation, receiving oxygen under a dome, and has begun to eat again. I could tell she was doing better even before I went into the ICU because I saw her mother in the hall this morning. She has a relaxed and satisfied countenance now that Malak has received the surgery she needed. She was quick to encourage Deya's mother when we came back upstairs from the operating room, and is a good example since she has just been through the experience herself.

Malak did have a fever this afternoon when I visited, but the nurse said she is stable, and was receiving the meds needed to treat the fever. It is not unusual for children to have a fever post-operatively as their body works to heal. Please pray that Malak's progress continues, that she is able to move out of the ICU soon, and then before much longer be on the way back to her waiting family.

Baby Malak Comes Through Surgery

Posted on Wed, 09/16/2009 - 07:48 by Donna_Petrel


Today, after gaining some weight and getting over a virus during the past weeks, little Malak had her open heart surgery. Her mother had friends there to support her during the long wait, along with the other mothers whose children are going through the same surgeries. She wore a tense expression as she waited upstairs, and in the early afternoon decided to go downstairs to sit in the waiting room beside the operating area. I chose to wait upstairs, so the next time I saw her she was walking behind Malak's bed, along with the surgeon Lior Sasson (pictured in dark shirt), as Malak was wheeled to the ICU.


I already had the opportunity to see Dr. Alona and ask her about the surgery's outcome, so I knew Malak's surgery had gone very well, thank God. The look of relief on her mother's face was further evidence of the success of the repair. She knew to expect to wait outside the ICU before going in to visit Malak, but didn't expect to have to wait quite as long as was necessary today. However there were no other options as another child was having his chest closed and during the procedure no one could enter the ICU. Well over an hour later she was able at last to go check on Malak, and after gazing at her for a few moments bent over to give her a kiss as she talked with her.

She asked questions of the nurse about when Malak would wake up, and when she might be able to breastfeed again. When I left her she was staying by her daughter's side, thankful for the good surgery. Please join us in prayer for Malak's healing to be complete and speedy. May Malaks mother know the peace of God surrounding her as she perseveres through the rest of Malak's recovery.

Surgery Next Week?

Posted on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 07:48 by Donna_Petrel
September 14, 2009
Sweet little Malak is still waiting for her surgery as she recovers from a bad cough, and continues to put on weight. We can tell from our visits that she's definitely feeling better, but her surgery has been postponed from last week's surgery schedule to this week. Although Malak may have to wait for the cough to be fully healed before the surgery can start. Today she had a new feeding tube inserted through her nose to help her gain weight, which made her very unhappy...until she was handed a balloon. Her eyes lit up, and she made some of her cute smiles for the camera. Her mother is handling the waiting process very well now as she knows the importance of Malak being strong when she enters surgery. Please keep them in your prayers as God's perfect timing approaches for this little angel to receive a new heart.

Time to Grow Before Surgery

Posted on Wed, 09/02/2009 - 01:00 by Justin_Strong

Little Malak from Gaza is waiting in Wolfson Medical Center in Tel Aviv for surgery to correct what the doctors say is a complicated VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect, a hole between the ventricles of her heart). Because she is so small, Malak is being fed intravenously in addition to regular feedings by her mother. Because of the complicated nature of the problem the doctors want Malak to increase in size before performing the surgery. Malak seemed to be content in her crib and in her mother's arms and did not appear to be in any pain. The doctors estimate that surgery may be possible in two to three weeks.

An Angel Reaches Israel

Posted on Tue, 09/01/2009 - 01:00 by Jonathan Miles

Little Malak ("Angel" in Arabic) came to Israel from Gaza today for her first heart evaluation. Doctors were concerned enough by what they saw to immediately hospitalize her. We're grateful that God has provided funding for us to step in and help sponsor her for surgery, which holds for Malak the promise of healing and new life.

Another little Malak from Gaza was also hospitalized today for surgery. Let's pray that God's grace will be revealed in the lives of both these angels and their families.